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 Saturday, 14 December, 2002, 15:54 GMT
North Korea takes aim at Bond
A woman walks in front of a James Bond poster in Seoul
Calls for a boycott of the film are also in South Korea
James Bond's latest "enemy" is fighting back.

Fictional North Korean agents torture the British spy in his new film, and now Pyongyang is angry for real.

[The film is a] dirty and cursed burlesque aimed to slander... and insult

Official statement
North Korea has called on the United States to stop showing Die Another Day saying it is "insulting the Korean nation".

The film - starring Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry - "clearly proves" the US is "the root cause of all disasters and misfortune of the Korean nation" and is "an empire of evil", according to the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

In his 20th adventure, Bond tries to stop an illegal arms deal between a South African diamond smuggler and evil North Korean officer, Colonel Moon, feared to be planning an invasion of South Korea and then Japan.

He takes a hovercraft across the heavily fortified border but is caught and tortured in North Korea before being released in a prisoner exchange.

'Inciting confrontation'

Bond's Korea shows a farmer tilling a field with a cow, which critics say makes the country appear backward. 007 also finds time for sex in a Buddhist temple.

James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan
The film is indicative of America's lack of moral values, North Korea says

The secretariat's statement said the film is a "dirty and cursed burlesque aimed to slander [North Korea] and insult the Korean nation".

It says the film describes North Korea "as part of an 'axis of evil', inciting inter-Korean confrontation, groundlessly despising and insulting the Korean nation and malignantly desecrating even religion".

The US is "the headquarters that spreads abnormality, degeneration, violence and fin-de-siecle corrupt sex culture", the statement said.

Widespread upset

The temple sex scene has also caused upset in South Korea where some opponents are trying to organise a boycott of the film before it opens.

Relations between the US and both Koreas have been going through difficult periods.

US President George W Bush called North Korea part of an "axis of evil" along with Iran and Iraq and there are new fears about Pyongyang's suspected nuclear weapons programme.

In South Korea, anti-American sentiment has swelled after the acquittals of two US soldiers whose armoured vehicle killed two Korean girls in June.



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